High Park

High Park
High Park
1873 Bloor Steet West
Toronto, ON

High Park is the largest park in Toronto spanning 161 hectares (398 acres, 1.61 km²) of land. It is a mixed recreational and natural park, with sporting facilities, cultural facilities, educational facilities, gardens, playgrounds and a zoo. One third of the park remains in a natural state, with a rare oak savannah ecology. With over one million visitors annually, High Park is the jewel of Toronto’s park system.

The park features many hiking trails, sports facilities, diverse vegetation, a beautiful lakefront, convenient parking, easy public transit access, a dog park, a zoo, playgrounds for children, a couple of eateries, greenhouses, picnic areas, several squirrels and various events throughout the year.

The park is located to the west of downtown Toronto, north of Humber Bay. It stretches south from Bloor Street West to The Queensway, just north of Lake Ontario. It is bounded on the west by Ellis Park Road and Grenadier Pond and on the east by Parkside Drive.

High Park History

In 1836, John George Howard purchased a 160-acre (0.65 km2) property in the County of York, to the west of Toronto, for a sheep farm, at the cost of $1,000.00. On this land Howard designed and built Colborne Lodge, a high end home that complements its natural surroundings, for him and his wife to live in. The Howards named their property “High Park”.

Howard had a successful career as architect, engineer and land surveyor to the City of Toronto before he retired in 1855. The Howards agreed to convey their property to the City of Toronto in 1873 under the conditions that the Howards continue to live at their residence, no alcohol ever be served in the park, and that the City hold the park “for the free use, benefit and enjoyment of the Citizens of Toronto forever and to be called and designated at all times thereafter as High Park”.

High Park Features

Gardens and Nature

High Park has so many different plants and trees and flowers that you will discover a new species or pick a new favourite tree each time you visit the park. The most famous part is Hillside Gardens which starts by the restaurant in the middle and ends by the lakefront. The best known maple leaf  landmark is located at the bottom of Hillside Gardens.


A walk along Lake Grenadier on the west side of High Park will make you forget you are in the largest city in Canada. High Park is bordered by Grenadier Pond on the west which is a fair sized pond, a calm and beautiful body of water. It starts on the North by Ellis Park Road where a tiny bridge marks the entrance to the park if you are coming on foot or by bicycle.

Off Leash Dog Park

High Park has a designated off-leash area for dogs. While the dog park is not completely fenced in, it is surrounded by natural borders such as thick bushes and trees.  The off-leash area inside the park is located between Grenadier Restaurant and the High Park zoo. Dog walking on-leash is allowed in all areas of the park except for the children’s playgrounds.


The mini-zoo at High Park keeps bison, llamas, peacocks, deer, highland cattle, yaks, and sheep. The hours are from 7 am until dusk and admission is free.  The zoo dates back to the early 1900s when deer were kept inside High Park. The zoo is located on Deer Pen Road and is accessible via the Parkside Road entrance. There is plenty of parking just in front of the zoo’s entrance.


High Park offers many sports facilities for sports enthusiasts including 6 tennis courts, 3 baseball diamonds and 2 soccer fields. The open area of the park allows for many other sports that can be played on the large grassy fields. The park also has an outdoor swimming pool for the summer and an ice hockey rink for the winter. The park is also full of beautiful trails ideal for running, walking or jogging.

Picnic Areas

The 18 designated picnic areas seat hundreds of people. Bring food from home or prepare it in the park on the barbecue. Picnic areas are available by reservation only.  For groups of more than 25 people you are required to obtain a permit from the City of Toronto. Each picninc area is marked with a wooden pole with a number on the top of it and reminders that no charcoal BBQs are allowed in the park.

Hours of Operation

Dawn to dusk every day, year round

Directions and Map to High Park

By Car

The park is located between Bloor Street and The Queensway and is bordered by Parkside Drive on the east. The main entrance is from Bloor Street – turn south at High Park Avenue.

The other car entrance is from Parkside Drive: turn west onto High Park Blvd.

The south entrance from The Queensway doesn’t get you too far into the park. You can drive up to Colborne Lodge and the children’s picnic area where the road loops around and leads you back out of the park. If you want to drive deeper into the park use the Bloor St or Parkside Dr entrances.

By Public Transit

Subway:  Get off at High Park station on the Bloor-Danforth subway line between Keele and Runnymede stations. The park’s north entrance is a two minute walk from the station.

Streetcar:  Take the 508 Lakeshore streetcar and get off at the Parkside or Colborne Lodge stops or take the 506 Carlton streetcar all the way to the High Park loop by Parkside Drive.

Bus: Take the 80 Queensway bus route which runs between Keele subway station and Sherway Gardens. Get off at the Howard Park Avenue stop on Parkside Road.

Map of High Park Location

Video of High Park

Contact High Park

Phone:  416-338-0338
Picnic Permit:  416-392-8188

Email: parks at toronto.ca
City of Toronto Parks Inquires: 416-392-1111

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